Study Finds Medicaid Expansion Reduces Mortality

By  //  July 26, 2012

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The Kaiser Health News reports on a new study by Harvard researchers that was published online Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, and which found that when the three states included in the study expanded their Medicaid programs by providing low-income adults without children or disabilities insurance coverage, fewer in that group died. 

Several states are in the process of evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of participating in the Medicaid expansion provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  Fifteen governors have indicated that they will not participate in Medicaid expansion under the PPACA.  With proponents of the expansion strongly encouraging their legislatures to undertake a serious cost/benefit analysis, using real numbers and credible scientific study instead of taking a political approach, the findings of this study may have a significant impact on decisions surrounding Medicaid expansion.

KAISER HEALTH NEWS–As states decide whether to expand their Medicaid programs to cover low-income childless adults, the impact of their choices became clearer today in a study showing a reduction of mortality in states that have already made that move.

The research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found a 6.1 percent reduction in mortality among low-income adults between the ages of 20 and 64 in Maine, New York and Arizona — three states that expanded coverage since 2000, compared with similar adults in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Nevada and New Mexico, neighboring states that did not do so.

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